National Dialogue on Mass Incarceration

From Diane A. Sears

PHILADELPHIA, PA (USA) – SEPTEMBER 26, 2013 -- A National Dialogue on Mass Incarceration will take center stage at the Joseph Priestley District’s Racial Justice conference, at the Unitarian Society of Germantown, 6511 Lincoln Drive, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Sunday, November 3, 2013 in the form of a “Teach In”.  Image courtesy Diane A. Sears

The “Teach In” will occur on Sunday afternoon from 12:30 P.M. through 4:30 P.M.   A stellar line-up of participants headlining  the event include Eric Sterling, author and President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation in Washington, D.C.; Mark Boyd, Esquire, President and Chief Executive Officer of Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia; Michael E. Erdos, a sitting judge in the Court of Common Pleas for the City of Philadelphia; Portia Hunt, Ph.D., Professor of Counseling Psychology in Temple University’s Department of Psychological, Organizational & Leadership Studies in Education;  and J. Jondhi Harrell, a Social Justice and Reintegration Thought Leader and Founder and Executive Director of The Center for Returning Citizens.  A condensed presentation and discussion of “Broken On All Sides,” an award winning and nationally acclaimed film produced by Matthew Pillischer, Esquire will precede the panels.

Panels and “breakout” groups will allow participants to interact with formerly incarcerated persons who have established themselves in society or are presently engaged with turning their lives around and those of their colleagues.  

Mr. Harrell, a Temple University MSW student, and major architect of the forum, said he was pleased that the Teach-In will “bring together legal professionals, ‘returning citizens’ creative thinkers on Mass Incarceration, social justice; reintegration educators, social entrepreneurs, legislators, religious and academic institutions, social service professionals and providers, health care professionals and providers, and concerned citizens throughout the region who have key pieces of the  puzzle to resolve issues directly and indirectly related to the New Jim Crow in the United States.”

“We will be looking at, among other things, models of ‘decarceration’ which exist in other states to determine which models will effectively work in Pennsylvania and what is needed to implement them.  The Kindergarten-to Prison Pipeline will be closely examined.  In every panel we will attempt to find what local religious and secular institutions and their congregations can do to hasten the demise of these systems that have been and continue to be so detrimental to communities of color,” said Marietta Tanner, a co-coordinator of the event with Nancy Anderson.  Both women are members of the Ending Racism Committee at the Unitarian Society of Germantown to which you should write for further information by sending an e-mail to Tanmari27@gmail.com.

CONTACT:

Marietta Tanner

Nancy Anderson

Ending Racism Committee

Unitarian Society of Germantown

E-Mail:  Tanmari27@gmail.com